Despite the graduation of their three most valued players, head coach of the Humber men’s basketball team Patrick Au believes his young and talented rosters can go all the way for another successful season, and a CCAA National Championship appearance.

For the first time since the 2011- 2012 season, Ancil Martin, Gibson Ediful and Tyrone Dickson, three of Humber’s most elite players in the program’s history, will not be wearing a Humber Hawks uniform this upcoming season.

The now graduated trio led the Hawks through a five-year stretch of incredible basketball success, finishing with an overall record of 71 wins and 19 losses, which also includes a Provincial and National Championship.

Their departure now marks the beginning of many uncertainties surrounding the success of this year’s team. An absence of veteran leadership, an abundance of youth, and skill sets which have yet to proven are just a few troubles plaguing the team currently.

The Hawks have one of the youngest rosters in the Ontario College Athletic Association, and are one of the few teams that do not possess a fifth-year player.

“It’s a new team,” says head coach Patrick Au. “We have 10 new guys, so its basically a new team.” New additions include first-year players and veterans from other schools.

Coach Au now turns to experienced players CJ Bennett and Kenny Ejim to be the leaders of this young team. “Those guys are really the leaders. Kenny’s been there before, he played in the National Championship, he played on that team” says Au.

Bennett, third-year, alongside Ejim, fourth-year, both won a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship in 2015, and will provide the veteran leadership this team needs to maintain their standards of winning.

For coach Au, despite having a new and younger roster of players, the objective for his team remains the same. “We’re always looking to make Nationals- that’s the goal,” he says.

The Hawks are currently 5-3 in their preseason matches, with one of those losses coming in a hard-fought battle against the top-ranked team in the country, the Montmorency Nomades of Montreal, Quebec.

The Hawks open their season against the Conestoga Condors on October 22, and look to forge their way towards another National appearance. For more information, please visit the Humber Hawks website, at www.humberhawks.ca.